The artsdepot Open 2016 Prize Winners

| Thu 14 Jul 2016

We recently announced the winners of our artsdepot Open 2016, a diverse exhibition of work by emerging and established artists from Barnet and beyond. We caught up with the winners to find out more about them and their winning creations.

Kirsty Kemp (Milly Apthorp Prize first place winner)

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your interests in the arts?

I have always made things. I love making and am particularly drawn to metal, wax, glass, and resin, but will use absolutely any medium. But it's only recently that I would consider what I was making to be art. I now work as a scientist but in 2014 was able to undertake the part-time foundation diploma in Art and Design, at CityLit, London. I now regularly show work together with my CityLit colleagues - a unique group of artists - and other artist groups, and so am now steadily developing my artistic practice in this way. The balance of my life has vastly improved now that art is an official part of it.

What inspired you to create On a Wire?

This work was made in response to the current refugee crisis, particularly the current situation in Calais. The news coverage in the UK, and the UKs response to this immense humanitarian crisis - the biggest of my lifetime - has been nothing short of heart-breaking. I wanted this piece to give the visual impression, from a distance, of birds on a wire. They all look identical, as black silhouettes. A swarm. They may even look intimidating. But as you come closer you see that each one is individual, and carries in his/her heart the full depth of human life, family, past experiences, present experiences. Human vulnerability and humanity is what characterises an individual, any individual, if one is willing to look.

How did you create the work?

I laser cut the figures from fin board, and painted them with a black acrylic base and a cover of rust (iron filings mixed with a binder and then activated with a vinegar solution to begin to rust) to regain the visual of metal. Hearts were laser cut from the figures' chests, and some of the iconic images that have emerged from the Syrian refugee crisis were printed onto acetate, cut to shape and fitted into the hearts of each figure. The figures where then attached to a "wire" (a metal bar) and spaced to be reminiscent of a flock of birds - as they appear they gather on telephone wires just before they migrate. The piece was fitted with 45 degree fixtures at each end so that it could be hung across a corner and light could illuminate the scenes playing out in the hearts of each individual.

Michael Lee (Milly Apthorp Prize second place winner)

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your interests in the arts?

I have been officially working as an artist for exactly a year now. Previously I was teaching art and photography part time in a great secondary school, whilst developing my art practice with the rest of my time. I feel tremendously lucky and excited to have this opportunity to follow my dreams.

What inspired you to create London’s Pouring V?

For some time now I have been obsessively exploring the possibilities of abstraction through the camera. This particular work aims to present a painterly response to an everyday scene.

How did you create the work?

I have a unique technique for taking photographs that relies on movement, intuition, skill and sheer luck. This image was captured in camera, with a swift lens movement in a magical moment on the top of a moving London bus during a very wet day in late summer.

Alison Griffin (artsdepot Open Prize winner)

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your interests in the arts?

I've been drawing all my life and the opportunity to study Foundation and BA Fine Art at Central Saint Martins enabled me to improve my technique and expand my practice. When I graduated in 2012 I was selected for the Clyde and Co. LLP Community Art Prize. Since then I have regularly exhibited with Cavaliero Finn in their own gallery and also in the Affordable Art Fair, and I have participated in numerous group and curated shows, including Psychotropic House at Yinka Shonibare's Guest Projects.

What inspired you to create The Land Of No Shadows Part 1 & 2?

I am inspired by my immediate surroundings and how they make me feel, and this response is informed by childhood memories, dreams and nightmares, and the aesthetic and suspense of black and white film noir, which I watched avidly as a child. I love the tension created by the dramatic lighting, and the uncanny feeling of something not being quite right.

How did you create the work and how long did it take?

These particular images were from photographs I took on a trip to a deserted and wind swept Coney Island in New York - although the sun was out, an eerie feeling of foreboding pervaded, and I tried to capture this atmosphere in these drawings. I used oil based carbon pencil as these are very dense and are great for creating the drama of shadows, It took me about four months to complete the two of them.

Jade Duncan-Knight (Young Artist prize winner)

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your interests in the arts?

I'm a student at Sixth form studying Sociology, English Literature, English Language and Fine art. It's very intense having to balance the time between my academic courses and my creative ones, as I need to spend a lot of time and focus in my free hours towards preparing a portfolio and showreel! This is really important to me, as I hope to enter the creative industries as a concept artist or 3D/2D artist in either the games or film industry.

What inspired you to create A Dragon’s Flight?

My love of fantasy. I've always been a huge fan of mythology that orientates around monsters or creatures that would never be able to exist in real life, so dragons were the first thing I thought of that I'd like to be able to recreate in the program. This also stems from an interest I have in video games that include the same subject matter, such as Final Fantasy that requires you to obtain summons - beasts that are based off a legend or religious creature.

How did you create the work and how long did it take?

I used a 3D Modelling program called ZBrush that in principle works the same as sculpting in clay. I started off with a sphere, and warping and adding on to that, created limbs and the wings from the torso and head, in a process that's referred to as 'blocking' out the body. Following this, I added more detail and scale-like textures to make the model appear more realistic, adding minor adjustments such as extra spheres on another layer to create the eyes. I'd say along with rendering the model, this piece took a total of about 2 weeks with about 6 hours spent on it in each week. It was a lot of trial and error, as I'm quite new to the program.

The artsdepot Open 2016 exhibition is open until Thursday 1 September (closed Monday 29 August), entry is free.


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